U.S. Grants Patent for Bendix System to Protect Trailers from Cyber Intrusions


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NMFTA Cybersecurity Research Engineer also Named in Approval for Intrusion Detection and Prevention System

The U.S. Patent Office has granted a patent to Bendix Corporation for a new technology that will help detect and prevent cyber intrusions against tractor-trailers.

Names on the patent include Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC’s Product Owner in Brake Redundancy, Thomas J. Hayes, and the National Motor Freight Traffic Association’s (NMFTA) Senior Cybersecurity Research Engineer, Ben Gardiner.

The patent is for an active intrusion detector and protection system owned by Bendix for tractor-trailer communication. For the larger trucking industry, technology advances like this one promises more secure operating systems and fewer operational disruptions and added costs.

According to the abstract filed with the patent application, the device detects nefarious communication signals in a vehicle using a combination of detection support logic, nefarious logic, a filtering circuit, and a microcontroller.

Once incoming communication signals are determined nefarious, the abstract said, “The device transmits a blocking signal to the nefarious logic to filter a frequency band of a communication conductor of the wiring harness in response to the determination that the characteristic measured during the first time differs from the characteristic measured during the second time.”

The number of the patent granted is US11595821B2. Bendix first applied for the patent in February 2021.

Various trucking companies who are members of NMFTA took part in the trailer cybersecurity research project, which coincides with that time, bringing their equipment into the mix so the developers could test it and apply what they learned to developing the technology.

“The NMFTA cybersecurity program has the mission to make things better, to improve cybersecurity for our fleets,” Gardiner said. “We were able to show that these attacks are possible, and we did this in various forms, including videos and so forth. There’s only so much we can do on the bench, so we needed assistance from people who owned equipment.”

Gardiner said NMFTA participated in the patent, which Bendix will have the opportunity to commercialize because the organization believes in the need for a healthy mix of public-domain technologies, which are free to everyone, and those that offer the promise of greater return on the research and development investment.

“We hope this strikes a balance between technologies that can be reused by everyone – such as the attack mitigations, which the NMFTA published into the public domain — and those that can be incentivized.”

Fleets who want to participate in future technology developments should consider attending NMFTA’s Digital Solutions Conference, which is taking place October 22-25, 2023, in Houston. Find more information on the complimentary conference at https://nmfta.org/nmfta-event/digital-solutions-conference/.


Since 1956, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA) has represented the interests of the less-than-truckload (LTL) motor carrier industry. The NMFTA publishes the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®), assigns Standard Carrier Alpha Code™ (SCAC®), assignment of Standard Point Location Codes® (SPLC™), develops digital standards for the LTL industry, and safeguards those digital standards through cybersecurity research, dissemination of studies, and education. Membership in NMFTA is available to all for-hire interstate and intrastate motor carriers. For more information, visit www.nmfta.org.


Marli Hall
Director of Communications & Member Services